On 18 March, the government announced that landlords will be blocked from evicting tenants who cannot pay their rent because of job losses or having to look after their children as a result of coronavirus.
The move announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick stated that new eviction attempts will be banned for three months to give hard-pressed workers in private and social accommodation breathing space during the economic crisis. However, to make sure landlords do not suffer Mr Jenrick also revealed that buy-to-let mortgages would also be covered by the 12-week payment break.
Commenting on the decision, Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, said:
“These are unprecedented times and all landlords must now work collaboratively with their tenants to come to solutions to get us through this public health crisis and move forward after.
The measures taken are right and fair; no one wants to see a tenant be forced out of their home due to loss of income as a result of coronavirus, nor does anyone want to see landlords face unmanageable debts.
With this in mind, we will shortly be launching a tenant mediation service which will involve Landlord Action working collaboratively with the Property Redress Scheme to offer support to both landlords and tenants to come to suitable arrangements for the future.
We are awaiting confirmation from the government as to the details of the suspension, a possible verification process, and also information on what will happen with current possession claims that are going through the court process.
We would urge landlords to be as flexible as possible with tenants facing difficulties with their rent payments arising from the current situation.”